Tuesday – April 2, 2013
We awoke to a dramatic change in the weather from the warm sunny day we enjoyed on Monday, here at the Maumelle Park Campground near Little Rock, Arkansas. A cold front from the north moved into the area bringing much colder and windy weather. The sky was overcast with the possibility of rain and the temperature in the high 40’s. Time to travel to our next destination.
We departed Maumelle at 9:45 a.m. Our destination is the Dogwood Campground in the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park near Memphis, Tennessee. We arrived there at 1:10 p.m. and selected campsite #12. This is a very nice campsite and will be our first choice on our future visits.
Of interest to us was the Tennessee State Parks camping price change for 2013. They now offer senior citizens, from any State, a 25% discount from April 1st through October 31st and a 50% discount from November 1st through March 31st. In prior years, these discounts only applied to senior citizen residents of Tennessee. We certainly appreciated this policy change, since we had camped here in December 2012 and paid the full price at that time.
The Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park comprises 12,617 acres and is located 13 miles north of Memphis. Bordering the mighty Mississippi River, two-thirds of the part is bottomland hardwood forests of large oak, cypress and tupelo. The park contains 18 miles of hiking trails, a 3-mile bike trial, and beautiful picnic areas and playgrounds. A boat ramp is maintained on the Mississippi River. Deer, turkey, beaver, foxes and over 200 species of birds and other wildlife are abundant. The park is named for Edward J. Meeman, courageous conservation editor of Scripps-Howard newspapers who helped establish this park, as well as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The parks nature center has live reptile and raptor displays as well as a variety of programs, including pontoon boat trips, deep swamp canoe floats and guided hikes.
The State Park has one campground (Dogwood) with 49 campsites suitable for RV’s. The campground has a well-paved road and each campsite has a paved parking pad with electric and water hookups. Facilities include one well-maintained restroom with flush toilets and hot showers. The campsites are surrounded by a heavily wooded forest and offer a fair degree of privacy between campsites. Despite the heavily forested campsites we are able to get excellent television reception with our DISH Tailgater system.
We will spend two nights at the Dogwood campground while we sample the cuisine at two restaurants profiled on the Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives television program in March 2013. The first one is the Memphis BBQ Co. in Horn Lake, Mississippi. The second one is the SOB (South of Beale), located in Memphis on Main Street south of Beale Street.
We dined at the Memphis BBQ Co. at 5:00 p.m. this afternoon and it certainly lived up to its glowing review on the Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives program. It is located 30 miles southwest of the Dogwood campground. It is a large restaurant conveniently located adjacent to a Strip Mall with the mall parking lot suitable for large RV parking. We ordered the fried green tomatoes as an appetizer. Sharon ordered the half-slab of spare ribs and I ordered the half-slab of baby back ribs for our main course. The main courses come with two sides and include a slice of corn bread. We both agreed the spare ribs and baby back ribs were delicious, but we enjoyed the baby back ribs more. The baby back ribs were juicier and had more meat on them. The fried green tomatoes were delicious and the best we have ever had. The corn bread was a pleasant surprise. It was a large portion, delicious and very moist, the best we have ever had. This restaurant has now been added to one of our favorites in the Memphis area.
We returned to our campsite at the Dogwood campground under a steady rain and a bone-chilling temperature in the mid-40’s. In short order we were warm and cozy inside our Casita trailer.
Camping Fee: $20.00 per night ($15.00 with 25% discount for senior citizens from any State).
Total miles traveled today: 169
Tomorrow another adventure begins.